SPT LabTech FireFly Experiences

Hi All. I work with a group that does a lot of NGS Library Prep, and they have been using Revvity Sciclones for many years now, and are looking to upgrade to a new platform.

Amongst other options, one platform that we are considering is the FireFly/FireFly+. The reasoning behind this is that they are used to having Prewritten protocols by Revvity that are adapted to their liquid handler with “minimal effort”. The Firefly seems like a more modern version of the Siclcone with an easier to use software and a less sensitive instrument overall. The smaller footprint is also a positive in this case, and I really like the idea of using the positive displacement dispensers for many tasks as well.

I know that we could go with other larger platforms that allow more flexibility, but I’d like to know if anyone has had any good or bad experiences working with a Firefly. In particular, any notes about reliability would be great. The Sciclones are very sensitive and seem to be in constant need of repair.

Thanks all!

I have not used a Firefly, but I have used SPT (Formerly TTP Labtech) stuff before and they make top notch products. I would expect that the Firefly follows the same level of quality and reliability as the rest of their stuff.

Just curious what you’d dispense with the Firefly? I’m loosely close to NGS library prep but don’t see quite how the Firefly would fit into our protocols.

There are a few benefits I would see to using the dispenser. They are positive displacement, so it should make liquid class development much easier that with air displacement pipettes. Second, it would be allow lower dead volume/increased speed to use the dispenser over traditional pipetting. They have reservoirs that are 75-240 uL dead volume, with a syringe dead volume of 15 uL. It’s pretty fast too at dispensing, especially if you can use more than 1 dispenser.

I’d probably use it to dispense various mastermixes or beads or other difficult to pipette reagents, but honestly I could use it for any reagent addition really. I’d only need the 96/384 well tips to aspirate/dispense samples or waste solutions. Still need to figure out how costs work out for consumables, but definitely interested in it.

I like the look of the firefly a lot, and it fits a ton into a small package. The one quirk that I’m not too sure about is the 96 probe head. It seems like you’d have to prep all of the master mixes yourself in addition to normalizing yourself since the 96MPH can’t do individual dilutions. I’m sure SPT has an approach to this issue, but it’s definitely something to consider vs. a liquid handler with single channels available.

I have used many SPT products, and what I like best about them is their customer service. They truly take care of their customers. I have used their mosquito liquid handler, compound storage units (I had seven at one point), readers, and more. I always consider them a reliable partner. It’s the little extras, in addition to the quality of their products, that make them a very attractive option.

Thank you @josequiroz and @jnecr for sharing your feedback and experiences, that was helpful!

@BHam , you are right, the only way to normalize things woudl be to use the dispensers to dilute samples to the stocks, and not make individual dilutions. We have access to an older smaller Tecan Freedom Evo with 8 channels that can handle those dilutions though, so thats less of a concern for our situation. Same for the master mixes, their current approach requires them to make the master mixes manually, so thats not a hard ask either. But all valid points for others to consider if that matters in their situation.

Hi UCantBcereus

Please feel free to contact me if you would like some guidance on the Firefly and Firefly +